Every year, on March 24th, we observe World TB Day, also commonly known as the World Tuberculosis Day. This is a worldwide event, the most important aim of which is to raise public awareness of the Tuberculosis disease. Additionally, it also aims to make people aware of the efforts that are being made to not only prevent but also treat this disease.
History of World TB Day:
Caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, TB is an infectious bacterial disease that commonly affects a person’s lungs. It was on March 24th in the year 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch, a German physician and microbiologist detected that the cause of this disease was the TB Bacillus. 100 years later, in 1982, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease launched the World TB Day on this very date. Then, in 1996, the WHO joined this union, along with other organizations to promote this day, thereby formally establishing the Stop TB Partnership in 1998. Together, they aim to fight and prevent Tuberculosis.
How do people observe World TB Day?
On this day, various organizations around the world organize events and activities surrounding Tuberculosis. Organizations involved in the Stop TB Partnership work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote this day every year. Some of the activities and events they organize are:
- Organize community discussions regarding ways to prevent tuberculosis.
- Honor, award and reward those who have dedicated their lives in order to prevent and fight against this disease.
- Photo exhibitions to promote images and thereby raise awareness of TB.
- Charity events to raise funds for control of TB.
Themes of World TB Day:
Every year, World TB Day addresses a different theme. Some of these themes are:
- 2000: Forging new partnerships to stop TB
- 2001: DOTS: TB cure for all
- 2002: Stop TB, fight poverty
- 2003: DOTS cured me- it will cure you too!
- 2004: Every breath counts- stop TB now!
- 2005: Frontline TB care providers: heroes in the fight against TB
- 2006: actions for life- towards a world free of TB
- 2007: TB anywhere is TB everywhere
- 2008-09: I am stopping TB
- 2010: Innovate to accelerate action
- 2011: Transforming the fight towards elimination
- 2012: Call for a world free of TB
- 2013: Stop TB in my lifetime
- 2014: Reach the three million: A TB test, treatment, and cure for all
- 2015: Gear up to end TB
- 2016: Unite to end TB
- 2017: Unite to end TB
- 2018: Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world
- 2019: It’s time
The theme for World TB Day 2020 is “It’s time,” which stresses the urgency that needs to be acted upon the disease. By doing so, it will not only help to scale up the access to prevention and correct treatment of Tuberculosis but also build accountability for the disease. Moreover, it will help to put an end to the stigma and discrimination that surrounds the disease, while promoting a response to TB which is people-centered and equitable.